Does your business need a Data Fabric solution?
Data Fabric is the new hotness. It's a buzzword that businesses have been hearing everywhere, and some are wondering if it can have an impact on their business. The truth? It depends on your business. In this guide, we're going to discuss how you can use data fabric to help build your business in today's environment, and although this guide is written for small and mid-sized businesses, the same concepts can apply to large corporations as well.
What is Data Fabric?
Data Fabric is a term used to refer to a collection of technologies that enable the extraction of data from multiple sources, its combination with other data (both internal and external), and analysis as well as action on the data. Data fabric can be considered as a ‘data superhighway’ which enables the combination of data from diverse sources into one infrastructure or platform. Data can be collected from sources that may have been heretofore untapped for business intelligence purposes such as non-relational databases (NoSQL) and social media platforms.
How do you know whether your business needs a data fabric solution or not?
One of the primary challenges in big data is the sheer number of options for storing and analyzing information. If you're considering a data fabric solution for your business, here are some key questions to ask as you evaluate products:
Is my existing infrastructure up to the task?
The first step is to assess whether your current storage environment is capable of handling a new workload such as a data fabric solution. You'll want to ask: Do I have enough capacity? And how much performance is required?
If your existing resources are not sufficient for the job and you cannot afford to upgrade them, one option is cloud-based storage. Cloud-based solutions provide managed services that can give you the flexibility and scalability needed for your new workloads — without the additional capital expense of purchasing new hardware.
How can you get the insights you need from your data?
Unlike traditional analytics solutions, which require batch processing of data to generate reports, a data fabric solution can streamline the process and provide insight into your data in real time. This allows you to respond to changes in the market more quickly and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
What kind of workloads will my data fabric need to support?
One data fabric solution may be ideal for one use case, but not so great for another. So first figure out what your key scenarios will be, and then find a product that fits those scenarios.
How much complexity can I handle?
Many data fabrics require extensive configuration and customization to get running in production environments. If you don't have the time or expertise to manage this process, consider using a solution that can automate that work.
How am I going to secure my data fabric?
Data security is paramount — especially in an era where regulations like GDPR make it more important than ever to keep customer information safe. Ensure that your data fabric solution provides the security features you need to protect sensitive information. That includes protecting data in transit, at rest and in memory.
Can you use your data to drive decision-making across your business?
A good data fabric solution should be able to transform your business by giving every department access to real-time analytics. Insights aren't only generated by one group within an organization; they are being generated across the whole company from multiple sources of information. This means that everyone has access to the same information at any given moment and can use this intelligence to inform their decision-making. For example, marketing teams may want insight into customer behavior so they can create targeted advertisements; sales teams need information about their prospects' needs in order for them to make informed sales pitches.
Advantages of using Data Fabric:
- Better utilization of the existing data architecture: Data fabrics allow businesses to make use of their existing infrastructure without having to overhaul everything. They enable companies to distribute their current IT resources across multiple systems, improve collaboration between them, and provide better access to corporate information at a lower cost than traditional models would allow.
- Enables meeting the modern data requirements: As mentioned above, data fabric is not just a collection of tools. Instead, it is an architecture that works by connecting and integrating various types of data storage and management systems. Using data fabric allows your business to connect multiple types of databases to create a unified system. This way, even if you are using different types of databases, you will be able to synchronize them.
- Ease of use. Data fabrics provide an easier way to manage and work with data, especially for enterprises that have many separate data sources such as databases, applications and services. They also provide businesses with a higher level of security, making it easier than ever before to maintain control over sensitive information. Users can access their information from anywhere at any time through a variety of devices.
- Reduced costs: Data fabric is an inherently cost-effective solution for businesses, compared to on-premises hardware solutions. You don't have to purchase servers or other hardware for onsite storage. In addition, because you can scale up or down easily without adding hardware, you may reduce costs by purchasing only what you need to meet immediate needs.
- Increased security. Data fabric uses military-grade encryption at all times — even while data is in transit between devices, which makes it a more secure solution than on-premises storage.
- Helps you make better business decisions: It enables you to create holistic data pictures across all enterprise systems, applications and departments, which in turn help your business make better decisions based on a single view of your customer.
- Highly scalable solution: It allows you to use a central platform to manage multiple data sources, including relational databases and big data stores such as Hadoop. This provides you with a highly scalable solution that can handle any amount of data without affecting performance or increasing costs.
- Improved Data Security and Access Control: Data is the most vital resource in a business. It’s the fuel that powers your decision-making, planning and strategies. However, it needs to be protected—from both external threats and internal users who have high-level access to the system.
With data Fabric, you can restrict access to only authorized users. Monitoring logins allows you to review who accessed what data and when. This allows you to shut down unauthorized users before they can cause any damage.
Data Fabric benefits business processes by providing secure access to data without compromising compliance with security regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA. This is important as businesses will be more forthcoming in sharing their data when they know it’s secure from unauthorized access.
Data is valuable. Data fabric solutions try to pull all your data into a central platform so you can take advantage of the big data tools and techniques to make decisions. The reasons vary but you're here because you're wondering if you need a data fabric solution in the first place. We hope this guide covers all the necessary pointers and questions that you need answers of and ultimately helps you make a more informed decision.